Justin Li


Plane on a Plane

2009-01-26

The URL of the third '???' post was indeed blog-post-19.html. Science, bitches!

Last week's question was: why do men like women with long blond hair, blue eyes, and large breasts?

I've actually known the answer for a while now, but for some reason it came to my mind recently. No, it's not because I met a large breasted women with long blond hair and blue eyes...

I first heard about this from (to my eternal shame) Psychology Today. In their article on 2007-09-20, they mentioned that there are evolutionary reasons behind these attractions. Specifically

It would be interesting to see if these hold true over people/populations who have no contact with at least the first two (the last one being hard to control). For example, if photos of women with long blonde hair only, with blue eyes only, with both, and with neither were shown to, say, men from a small village in China, would they rank their appearance in the same way?

For interested readers, the article I'm refering to is here.

This week's question is something I've wanted to solve for a while, but never got around to it. Might as well make this blog force me.

When you look up at a passing plane, usually you'll miss where it is at first glance. This is because the plane is high enough that there is some delay between the image of the plane and the sound of the plane reaching you. From this simple fact, it should be possible to calculate how quickly the plane is flying, as well as how far the plane is from you. The solution should be symbolic, and/but you can assume that:

For bonus points: is it possible to calculate the same data if the plane was not equidistant from you, but flying in an arbitrary straight line? How/What other data is necessary?

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